Thursday, March 02, 2006

03Mar1858, A Visit to Althorp

ALTHORP, March 3rd, 1858.
—We came to Althorp, where we were last four years ago, just before Bobbie's (6th Earl Spencer) birth ; the account is in the first volume of my journal, which I have lost, alas ! We seem to have stood apart during these four years and watched the rapid changes. When we were here then, Aunt Yaddy was Tallee's friend Miss Seymour, Uncle Fritz sat at the head of the table, the house was full of company and amuse¬ment but at grave moments the shadows of the two first great griefs one might still fancy hanging over the place. Now, there is a young widow with two babies beside her, and Tallee is an orphan. And we, children then, grief never known to us, and feeling strange and grown up in being away from Papa and Mamma. Now, coming with Papa, alone, bringing our own heavy sorrow into this changed and sorrowful house. God be thanked we knew not what was coming !

Such dear little children. Victoria says next to nothing, but in a tiny bell-like voice, and compensates for her extreme ugliness by the most winning signs and movements, pointing and gesticulating with a pair of fairy hands, or with little rounded wrists. The baby fair and pretty, placid and happy with everyone.

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